With all of the great blogs that are out there, I decided to run a guest post week. I want my readers who are not your readers to become readers because I know how great your blogs here. Well, let’s get into blog week.
First up is Lorraine, mother of Caleb. Her blog is This is Caleb.
The Power of Perspective
When Caleb was diagnosed, I assumed I would handle the challenge of his diabetes as I had handled countless others in my life – independently.
“Strong”, “responsible” and “independent” are words used to describe me for as long as I can remember. My presumption was therefore that I could, and even should, handle this by myself.
It took several months for me to reach out to others. I joined a few online forums, mostly geared toward parents of PWD. These people were a treasure. Whenever I had a question, they not only had the answers, and had them quickly, they had the perspective I needed and did not find in friends, family or even doctors. These forums became a lifeline for me.
But my questions became very specific and I had to figure out all the little Caleb nuances on my own. I found myself on these forums less and less as I was spending my time on charting, tracking, evaluating, and analyzing Caleb’s numbers.
I became so engrossed in figuring things out, I isolated myself from the support system that had been holding me up, and I didn’t even realize it.
Then I came upon the TuDiabetes community. Although within this community there are parent groups that I value, the variety of diabetics is broad. I had entered a whole new world of information and experiences from which to learn. I followed discussions and read experiences of the adults that live and have grown up with diabetes and found these views very informative and valuable. It provided a new comfort. I was getting a glimpse into Caleb’s future that until then, was very uncertain to me.
It was a new perspective.
This led me to join Twitter to follow Team Type 1. Almost instantly someone I didn’t know was following me. How does this Twitter thing work and who is this Scott Johnson guy and why is he following me? It was days before I took the leap to follow him back, but soon the floodgates opened and I was following and being followed by lots of people in the DOC. I was reconnecting with parents and getting that much needed support back, but I was making new relationships too.
To that point, I viewed parents of PWD as distinct and separate from PWD themselves. My mindset was born out of respect for people who live with this responsibility every day. As much as I understand and as much as I bear the responsibility for Caleb’s diabetes management, I am not the person living it. As such, I never expected someone with diabetes to have any interest in anything I had to say about it, because really, what do I know?
I was wrong.
Although I did not literally have arms around me, I was most definitely embraced. I was talking with people about diabetes and lots of other things. I was being included in discussions and it was uplifting. Scott is actually not a stalker. He is a diet Coke-drinking, iPhone-using, basketball-loving, mega-blog-commenting super great guy, dad and husband.
The connections I have with PWD give me a view into Caleb’s mind, or at least the closest thing to it. I sometimes see the wheels turning inside his head, but I don’t know what he’s thinking or feeling. Talking with the people who live this, and have grown up with it, helps me understand and empathize and thus make decisions not only in Caleb’s daily care, but in the big plan: the plan for him to gradually assume the responsibility for his own diabetes.
Just a few weeks ago, Chris himself shared some perspective – perspective regarding a mom’s worry about her adult son. Thank you for that, Chris. That little nugget is one of several that you and others have given me that will stay with me for years; probably forever. I will never be able to repay you for that.
There was a time when I thought I should handle Caleb’s diabetes by myself. I suppose I could, but I am glad I don’t have to. Thank you, all my adult PWD friends. You have given me, and therefore Caleb, so much. You have welcomed me into your world, and I respect that I am just a visitor to a certain degree. It gives me great comfort to know that when Caleb is ready, you will be there for him, and I am confident that he will be there for you.
I wonder if you know the power your perspectives have on me and other parents of KWD, and how sincerely we appreciate them.